CityLife Arts

Transforming book to film at European Film Festival

By CityLife Arts Writer

It’s a rarity to hear of a film that became a good book, but turning books into films is fairly common practice nowadays. Of the 12 films in this year’s European Film Festival, four are based on books. Three film directors and an author will gather on Zoom to discuss how it all works.  The live discussion Transforming Book to Film on Tuesday, 17 November at 6pm is part of the Special Events programme of the virtual European Film Festival (12-22 November).  

Sabine Lubbe Bakker and Niels van Voerden are directors of the Dutch film Becoming Mona, Griet Op De Beeck is the award-winning Flemish author of the book on which it is based, Kom Hier Dat Ik U Kus.  Also participating is Stefan Ruzowitzky, director of Narcissus and Goldmund, the legendary story by Nobel Prize-winning Hermann Hesse, and no, Hesse will not be participating, he passed away in 1962. But his book lives on and has another incarnation in the film version by Ruzowitsky, who won an Oscar in 2007 for his film The Counterfeiters, which in turn is adapted from a memoir written by Adolf Burger. 

Tiny Mungwe

 Clearly there is lots to talk about in how the world of words transforms into the silky magic of film. How seamless is this transition, if at all?  Do the multi-layered dimensions of the audio-visual medium, with its drama, acting and sound, help us experience a story any better than the nuances and reflections we create ourselves when reading?  How different are the interpretations, and does it matter?  Local documentary producer and literature festival curator Tiny Mungwe will lead the discussion.

 Tune in via the Special Events page on www.eurofilmfest for 6pm (SA time) on Tuesday 17 November. 

 Online Book Launch

Wednesday, 18 November features Griet Op De Beeck at the Online launch of Kom hier dat ek jou soen, the Afrikaans translation of her book that has recently been published in South Africa by Protea Books.  Hosted by the General Representation of the Government of Flanders, Azille  Coetzee will be in online conversation with the prolific writer about this coming of age novel and her writing inspirations.  Access the conversation at 18.00 on Wednesday through the link.

 The conversation will be streamed in Afrikaans and Dutch at 6pm on Wednesday 18 November on Facebook Live (www.facebook.com/flanderssa/) or through the festival website www.eurofilmfest.

The European Film Festival 2020 is a partnership project of the Delegation of the European Union to South Africa and 12 other European embassies and cultural agencies in South Africa:  the Embassies of Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden and Wallonie-Bruxelles International, the French Institute in South Africa, the Goethe-Institut, the Italian Cultural Institute, and the British Council. The festival is organised in cooperation with CineEuropa and coordinated by Creative WorkZone.

Becoming Mona Still/ Kom Hier Dat Ek Jou Soen:  Netherlands author Griet Op De Beeck features in a panel on transforming book to film, as well as the launch of the Afrikaans translation of her book Kom Hier Dat Ek Jou Soen (Kom Hier Dat Ik U Kus) during the European Film Festival in SA.

 Narcissus and Goldmund: Still from the film Narcissus and Goldmund based on the book by Hermann Hesse, directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky who features on the transforming book to film panel during the European Film Festival in SA.

Narcissus and Goldmund: Stefan Ruzowitzky: Stefan Ruzowitzky director of the film Narcissus and Goldmundbased on the book by Hermann Hesse will feature on the transforming book to film panel during the European Film Festival in SA.

Tiny Mungwe: Tiny Mungwe, well known documentary producer and literature festival curator will lead the discussion on transforming book to film at the European Film Festival in SA.

Kom hier dat ek jou Soen: Cover of the Griet Op De Beeck’s book  Kom Hier Dat Ek Jou Soen which will be launched during the European Film Festival in SA

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